THE FIGHT OF FAITH

THE FIGHT OF FAITH

“We struggle and labor and fight in faith, because we have not yet discerned between soul and spirit, the hallmark of the mature. We are constantly moved in the sense (soul) realm by the impact of the visible. We ‘see’ this and that failing or lack. We ‘feel’ depression. We ‘hear’ an unceasing stream of unbelieving talk. All this affects our minds and conditions and we seem to have pressing down upon us a mountain of oppression, darkness, inability to maintain our grip on the invisible. We struggle, we strive, and the best we can do is dumbly, without feeling or sight, to “cling-heaven by the hems;” and the worst which we more often do, is to let faith go for a season.

The reason for all this is that we are still believing the lies of the senses, in place of the truths of the Spirit. For those who are still servants to the senses, what the senses convey is not a lie, but truth. But those who have crucified the flesh, who have attended their own personal funeral so far as accepting any more the sense interpretation of things, the outward appearances, who have celebrated their own resurrection as servants of the Spirit, accepting His revelations of truth, to such what the eyes see, what folks sense, what the emotions feel, are wholly suspect; and where such sights and sayings and feelings oppose faith, are treated as lying suggestions. They are exposed, they are renounced. No attention is paid to them; they are seen to belong to the realm of the soul, that is to the self in its relation to things earthly and bodily. But we are of the Spirit; our spirits, the self in relation to things spiritual are joined to His Spirit: and in that new nature of reality we steadily affirm and maintain our immersion in all light, substance and power, and that it will be manifested for us according to need.”

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AN EXPRESSION OF ANOTHER

Satanism defined is: the worship of Satan. But listening to those who claim to be Satanist you might discover somewhat of a different definition. Many Satanists will tell you they don’t worship a being known as satan at all. In fact, they will tell you Satanism is really the idea that you are your own independent person, in charge of your own life and destiny. You don’t have any allegiance to anyone at all. In fact, many even think of themselves as the truly enlightened ones and everyone else as the ones who are deceived.

If you look at what the Bible says about Satan you will discover something very interesting. According to Isaiah 14, the one most know as Lucifer, Satan’s name before he rebelled, wanted and believed he could be greater than God. He declared, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High!” So you see, he thought he could do a better job at being God than God Himself.

So when you look at the record of the fall of man as recorded in Genesis, you discover man’s very separation from God was caused by this very same mind and attitude. The Serpent told our first parents, “The day you eat of this fruit you will be as God.” So, the root cause of mankind’s fall and separation from God took place when man believed the lie that they could be “like God.” Then and there the spirit and mind of Satan moved into mankind and the fall had begun!

According to Ephesians 2:2, “We all lived according to this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”

Did you catch the phrase, “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now working “IN” the sons of disobedience?” The prince of the power of the air is referring to Satan and this clearly tells us he was the spirit working in us before we came to Christ. Wouldn’t that mean we all thought we could run our own lives and know better than even God? Wouldn’t that make us all Satanist before knowing Christ? Doesn’t that mean we were an expression of Satan?

The “Good News” though is, “Even when we were dead/separated from God, He made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6).

So, on the cross, along with Christ, we died too! (Romans 6:2-11). That means, through the operation of the cross, our union with the “Prince of the power of the air” has been severed. We have been freed from this deceptive “spirit of error” (1 John 4:6) and joined to the “Holy Spirit of truth” (1 John 4:6). We no longer have to live in the lie that we can be “like” God. No!! In fact, we can now be content to be the branch to His vine, the vessel for His treasure, the temple for His Spirit and the body for His head. We can be what God created us to be and that’s in union with Him and a visible expression of He who is invisible, right here on the earth.

COME TO ME by David Ord

COME TO ME

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

What did Jesus mean by “learn from me”? Why did He point to the fact that He was “gentle” and “humble in heart”?

Though Jesus was the Son of God, He freely confessed: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself…I can do nothing on my own initiative.” He was humble in heart because He recognized that no human being can accomplish the will of God. God Himself must indwell a person and perform His will through the person as a vessel. It was the Father in Him who did the mighty works, and that is how it must be with us if we are ever to please Him. We must “learn of Him” – be indwelt as He was indwelt.

Jesus was also “gentle.” He refused to strive in His own strength. He was one with the Father, so that the Father’s life and power coursed through Him. “The Father is in me, and I in the Father,” He told His critics. “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” “My Father and I are one.” He did not “try” to do the will of His Father, He simply allowed Himself to be indwelt as a vessel so that the Father could manifest His life through Him. Though great work was accomplished, it was all from a state of spiritual rest.

This was the “rest” hinted at in creation week, in Israel’s weekly keeping of a Sabbath day, and in the rest of the earthly Promised Land. All of these Old Testament shadows pictured the time when Christ Jesus would come to this earth to demonstrate how God can live in human beings and fulfill His will in them without their own effort or striving.

Once we recognize that we can do nothing righteous of ourselves – that all our righteousness, before and after conversion, are like filthy rags – we are ready to allow Christ to live through us. “There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Not a day, not a physical place on this earth, but a rest which comes from being yoked in union with Christ. The “fulfillment” of the Sabbath type:

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested form his works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10).

The external “ought to,” whether it be of the ten commandment law or of our own making according to our church tradition, shows us our inability to please God. It convicts us of failure and weakness. When we are about to drown, after we have wallowed in our own self-effort and failed miserably, we can finally cease from our own works and enter into rest in Christ.

This “rest” is not a rest of laziness. We have been set free from the law of “ought to,” but it is not a freedom to live as we please in the flesh. Rather, we have been joined – yoked – to Christ and “the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” Not two, but one; just as Jesus and his Father were one, so that for Him to live was really the Father. And for us to live is Christ! When He indwells us, He lives His life of tremendous works through us. The proof of His oneness with the Father, He said, was the “works” that were being accomplished. If we are one with Him, He will live that same fruitful life through us today! Collectively, we will do even “greater” works that He did while on earth, because the He was limited to one human body, whereas now He lives in many.”

David Ord